Seven albums into one of country music’s most-respected and most-unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due out Feb. 25, 2014 that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Bentley.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” Bentley says. “It’s different reasons for different folks – could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments…breakthrough moments.”
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in RISER, and it is reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley. It evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive. He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr., who worked on Bentley’s first two albums; and utilized producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote “Tip It On Back” for Bentley’s previous album Home.
The new atmosphere yielded the most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career. Some were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales. One track’s vocal was recorded on Bentley’s tour bus. Still others were cut at Copperman’s house with the producer literally at Bentley’s side, pushing him to some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.
“It’s not even really a studio,” Bentley says of Copperman’s set-up. “It’s just kind of a corner of the house he’s taken over, so there was a kind of intimacy to the vocal process. It was important to get out of the studio and sing in different places, and to do it with other people in the room. That way, you have an audience and you get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice.”
Since making a life-altering drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old, Bentley has forged his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. He has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. His album Home debuted at No. 1 and spawned three consecutive chart-topping hits, marking 10 career No. 1 songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His five previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations and earned him an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.
Glen Campbell passed away Tuesday afternoon (August 8th) after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The iconic singer, known for such classic songs as “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Southern Nights” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” was 81. The Country Music Hall of Famer was an inspiration and musical hero to many of today’s country stars.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81 https://t.co/zSv4RqjK4H
— Glen Campbell (@GlenCampbell) August 8, 2017
Glen Campbell… The artist. The songwriter. The musician. The man. Music will never be the same. Missing the Rhinestone Cowboy already!
— Darius Rucker (@dariusrucker) August 8, 2017
Glenn, thank you for the music. It's made us all better and your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace. 💔 pic.twitter.com/IN4UaxjNoR
— Little Big Town (@littlebigtown) August 8, 2017
The world lost a little sparkle today. Rest in rhinestoned peace, @GlenCampbell 💎 You inspired me so much.
— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) August 8, 2017
Glen Campbell was one of the finest musicians to ever grace country music. Hell, ALL music for that matter. Thanks for all you've done Glen.
— Brothers Osborne (@brothersosborne) August 8, 2017
Rest in peace, Glen Campbell https://t.co/UPBbDkskMJ
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) August 8, 2017
— Alan Jackson (@OfficialJackson) August 8, 2017
Keith Urban, who cites Glen as one of his musical idols, posted a heartfelt message about the legendary performer.
“What a powerful artistic and personal journey Glen Campbell’s passage has been. As a role model, singing guitar player he was a big influence on me.
His blend of genres created his own sound and style and his ability to entertain wasn’t limited to the stage. He blazed real trails through film (and especially television) where his charismatic southern charm and personality fit perfectly.
The night I won my first country music award, I got back to my hotel room and there was a fax on the floor.
“Welcome to the award winning world kid. You got it.” Glen Campbell.
Universal music, universal stories, universal spirit. No wonder he was a global superstar. I love Glen for so many reasons – but above all, for his humanity. My thoughts and prayers are with Kim and all of his extended family today. May peace be with you all. Go rest high on that mountain, Glen.” – KU
I love Glen for so many reasons – but above all, for his humanity. Go rest high on that mountain, Glen. – KU https://t.co/mJQseVHST5
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) August 9, 2017
Keith performed at last year’s 10TH ANNUAL ACM HONORS™ for a special tribute to Glen Campbell, who was honored with the ACM Career Achievement Award. Dierks Bentley also performed during the tribute, who said “He just has a way of performing that I’ve always felt like he’s one of those guys that if all of the power went out and there was no PA system and no band behind you and it just had to be just you and a guitar, he could entertain that crowd just as well as if they had all of the lights and production, and it’s Glen. He’s such a great singer, great musician and so funny, and such a great storyteller. He really carved out his niche. There’s no one that’ll ever sound like him – a classic legend.”
Thank you Glen Campbell for all you did for country music. You will be so very missed. pic.twitter.com/vsMaGw3N0i
— Eric Paslay (@ericpaslay) August 8, 2017
Glen Campbell is legendary, timeless & will forever have a huge mark on country music. We send our love and prayers to his family & friends.
— Lady Antebellum (@ladyantebellum) August 9, 2017
— Charles Kelley (@charleskelleyla) August 8, 2017
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) August 9, 2017
We lost a legend today. Thank you for your music, @GlenCampbell. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
— Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) August 8, 2017
Keith Urban (Glen Campbell) OC: …guitar player. :22
“I’ve always been a fan of what I like to call Guitartists, you know those guitar artists like Glen Campbell who’s probably one of my biggest influences. Those guys who knew a good song, had a great voice and played great and you know, just the all-around guys with the guitar you know? ‘Cause when you think of Glen Campbell you think off, I think of ‘Galveston’ and ‘Wichita Lineman’ then I also think of him being a phenomenal guitar player.”
Lady Antebellum have contributed a new song, titled “Chop to the Top,” for Broadway’s new offering, The SpongeBob Musical, which is set to open at the Palace Theater in New York City December 4th.
Dierks Bentley will make an appearance in the new show, Carpool Karaoke, which is based on the popular segment featured on The Late, Late Show with James Corden. The What the Hell Did I Say singer teams up with Sheryl Crow for an episode of the show. Future installments will include Blake Shelton and Chelsea Handler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Alicia Keyes, John Legend, the entire Cyrus clan (including Billy Ray, Miley and Noah), as well as NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Michael Strahan, Shakira, Metallica and many more. Carpool Karaoke will premiere exclusively via Apple Music on August 8th.
Kip Moore takes fans behind-the-scenes again for the making of his new album, Slowheart, available September 8th.
— Kip Moore (@KipMooreMusic) August 1, 2017
Dierks Bentley and Jon Pardi will appear on CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown this weekend. The cameras caught up with the tourmates backstage at the recent Faster Horses Festival. Check out what the two had to say on Saturday (July 29th) at 9am ET.
— CMT Hot 20 Countdown (@CMThot20) July 26, 2017
Chris Stapleton is set to perform during the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which runs September 22nd and 23rd. The two-day event will also feature performances by Pink, Thomas Rhett, Miley Cyrus, Kings of Leon, Harry Styles, Coldplay, Niall Horan, The Weeknd and Thirty Seconds to Mars, among others.
Chris Stapleton, along with Lee Ann Womack, will perform in honor of the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis on August 24th for a taping for the online series Skyville Live in Nashville. The show will premiere sometime in the coming months.
Lauren Alaina has released the lyric video for her current single, “Doin’ Fine,” the autobiographical song she wrote with busbee and Emily Shackleton. Check it out here.
Easton Corbin, who’s making his way up the country charts with “A Girl Like You,” recently took in a New York Yankees baseball game at Yankees Stadium.
— Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) July 26, 2017